At Trenton’s Foundation Collegiate Academy, on the 100th day of classes this year, Bart joined the 100 professional men in the hallways before the morning bell to greet and talk with the students as they entered for another day of building lives of consequence. Greg Weiss, CEO of the Collegiate Academy, had invited men with a broad array of careers to serve as role models, but frankly, it was we older “role models” who came away impressed – and learned more. Gathering in a classroom, we listened to three students explain their class project. They had selected three important issues facing Trenton’s young people: Gun violence, Abusive Bias towards racial, and transgender groups, and Police Brutality. They then addressed these issues by inviting students and others to create an expressive piece of art. The overwhelming participation of students and the open frankness of their creations startlingly opened our eyes.
Equally powerful and eye-opening were the encouraging support I discovered among my fellow early-morning greeters. We witnessed Bruce Boyd founder “Reclaiming Our Boys” give a brief taste of how he unleashes boys’ positive energies, and instills discipline and a love of reading. (Bruce’s idea of self-discovery is challenging, “All right, I want the smartest boy in the room to step forward beside me.” His idea of a history lesson is to take a group of black youths to Selma.) To learn more about Foundation Collegiate Academy visit www.foundationacademies.org. Learn more Reclaiming Our Boys (R.O.B) on Facebook.